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    29/03/2022

    Customer Stories pt. 11: A trusty TVR S4C

    Customer Stories

    Name: Jeremy Rickman

    The classic: TVR S4C in Cooper Green

    ‘My favourite memory of the TVR is my wedding day in 1997. We used it as the wedding car to take my wife to the church. We’ve got photos of her in the car which was covered in ribbons, with lots of guests around it. After our wedding, we drove away in it and went for a drive around Windsor – it was one of the best days of our lives. We even used the TVR to drive off to our honeymoon! I bought it in 1996 and it’s been with me ever since. It’s an incredibly special car, and I’m sure it’ll be in the family long after I’m gone.’

    Jeremy has owned his TVR S4C since 1996. He’s added 30,000 miles in that time. His interest in TVRs can be traced back to his father: an engineer who raced classics in his spare time. ‘My dad owned a 1934 MG J2,’ Jeremy tells us. ‘He also raced an old Le Mans Clement-Talbot from the ‘30s in vintage car racing clubs. As a child, I was in and out at pits, smelling the Castrol R and accompanying him to various different race tracks, and thoroughly enjoying the whole racing thing.

    Jeremy Rickman, Heritage customer
    Jeremy Rickman has owned his TVR since 1996

    ‘It all started there actually; my love of cars came from him,’ Jeremy explains. ‘He taught me how to service cars and I’ve always enjoyed them, so it feels inevitable that I would end up with some nice cars! On one occasion in 1990, I went to the Birmingham Super Prix to watch the TVR Tuscan Challenge. My brother’s girlfriend’s brother used to race cars, so we’d watch him race around the country on all the great racetracks. For this particular race, we had all-access tickets – I just remember watching as he drove up in a white TVR S1 which was provided for him by a sponsor. I fell in love with it straight away. It was just a wonderful combination of an amazing shape with a ‘60s retro style.’

    TVR S4C in Cooper Green
    A beautiful hue called Cooper Green

     

    How did you come to own your TVR S4C?

    In 1996, Jeremy started looking for his own TVR and soon found one from HR Owen in Knightsbridge. ‘The car was three years old at the time,’ Jeremy recalls. ‘It had only one previous owner, 12,000 miles and cost £20,000, which was a great deal of money, but I vowed that I’d have it. So, I saved a few pennies and bought it from them – it’s been with me ever since! I suspect it will stay in the family, too. I have two sons who are both driving age, so they’ll definitely be arguing about who will inherit it. They’re going to have to be patient!’

    Although he now takes it out two or three times a month, the TVR used to be Jeremy’s daily drive. ‘When I first bought it, I used it as my everyday car driving to and from work,’ he recalls. ‘However, I was always slightly nervous about the reputation of TVRs because people told me they fell to bits and they weren’t reliable. I never found that to be true though, it just kept going!

    ‘I must admit, I’m a mechanic,’ Jeremy laughs. ‘So, I looked after it, doted on it and spent a lot of time making sure the chassis was in tip-top condition because if things go wrong there, they can be particularly expensive to fix – especially for a TVR. On top of that, being my everyday drive meant it spent a lot of time in the wet and rain, so it was somewhat of a challenge to keep it free from rust.’

    Jeremy Rickman and wife wedding, wife in TVR S4C
    A memorable day: Jeremy Rickman, his wife and their trusty TVR

    In the following years, Jeremy instead chose to use a company car as his daily drive, meaning his TVR was used mainly for weekend driving. ‘I slowly eased off the number of miles I was putting on it,’ he says. ‘It was still in fantastic condition, as I regularly had it serviced at Henley Heritage, who looked after it impeccably. Not long after that, my wife, two sons and I moved to Chicago for six years, so we put the TVR in a hotel for fine cars, where it was very well looked after. It was certainly nice to get it going again when I got back!’

     

    Do you do most of the mechanical work yourself or go to a specialist?

    ‘It depends what it is,’ Jeremy says. ‘If it needs something really relatively straightforward, I definitely prefer to do that myself but if it’s something which requires more specialist care, I do send it to a specialist now.’ Jeremy’s chosen garage is a company called Str8Six, a TVR specialist based in Lewknor, Oxfordshire. ‘They are brilliant,’ Jeremy tells us. ‘The last time I sent it in, they upgraded the brake pipes and basically ensured all of the big stuff was done. I also like to get them to do a full report on it, just so that I know it’s in the best condition it can be in.

    ‘I’ve only ever caused damage to it once,’ Jeremy recalls. ‘I was going about 10mph around a corner and hit a patch of black ice. It spun on me and hit the inner grass bank, so I needed to get the bonnet fixed. I have a funny story about that, actually! About a week after the bonnet had been resprayed, what I’m assuming was a very large bird deposited on the bonnet. I didn’t clean it off in time and it burned through all the new paint, so I had to get it resprayed again!’

    Jeremy also has his fair share of mechanical stories when it comes to his classic. ‘There’s a well-gossiped issue when it comes to TVRs, particularly on forums such as PistonHeads and Facebook,’ he tells us. ‘Many owners will agree that the TVR S will have trouble ‘hot’ starting when the engine is warm or hot. That meant it would start perfectly in the morning, but if I set off for the day, turned the engine off and tried to switch it back on, the engine would turn over beautifully but wouldn’t start!

    ‘I read through so many different threads trying to figure out the problem, changed the fuel pump and all the usual things, when one day I was fiddling with the fuse box and wiring in the passenger footwell. I just so happened to nudge the fuel pump relay, and the engine cut out.

    ‘To cut a long story short, I only had to replace a £5 fuel relay to make the TVR as perfect as it could be, so I was very lucky to figure that out! Other than that slight snag, I’ve hardly ever had a problem with it over all these years. I’d like to say that it dispels the myth that TVRs aren’t reliable.’

    Do you have a favourite memory in the TVR?

    ‘My favourite memory would have to be using the TVR as our wedding car in 1997,’ Jeremy says. ‘It’s funny because I had a Triumph Spitfire and an MGB around that time, and my wife hadn’t liked either of those cars but she absolutely loved the TVR! We were both really excited to use it as our wedding car. We’ve got photos of her in the car which was covered in ribbons, with lots of guests around it.

    ‘After our wedding, we drove away in it and went for a drive around Windsor – it was one of the best days of our lives. I remember stopping at the traffic lights just after the wedding, and we were approached by an American man who offered to buy it! It was just such a lovely day; we even used the TVR to drive off to our honeymoon!’

    When it comes to future trips in his classic, Jeremy has his sights set on Europe. ‘I think now our kids are older, my wife and I would like to explore the wine region of France,’ Jeremy ponders. ‘We are planning on doing some pretty significant walks around different parts of the world, so if we can get the TVR over there as well, we definitely will.’

    Jeremy Rickman wife sitting on TVR S4C Cooper Green
    The cherished TVR will certainly stay in the family
    Ian Cook's drawing of TVR S4C in Cooper Green
    Ian Cook’s drawing of Jeremy’s TVR S4C

    Would you like the chance to be part of our Customer Stories project?

    If you’re a Heritage Car Insurance customer and you’d like your classic drawn on one of our live drawing sessions, please send a maximum of 150 words about what your classic means to you and at least 2 images to marketing@heritagecarinsurance.co.uk. We’ll send the original drawing to you for free, as well as a printed T-shirt and mug. It’s a wonderful project to be a part of, so if you’re interested simply get in touch!

     

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